[EM] The structuring of power and the composition of norms by communicative assent

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Jan 26 17:13:29 PST 2009

On Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:59:56 -0500 Michael Allan wrote:
>>>By a voting system "of the public sphere", I mean...
> Dave Ketchum wrote:
>>I do not see voters getting a choice.  Whoever has power or
>>authority sets up the system.  Voters, at most, can choose whether
>>to participate and/or complain.
>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere

Thanks for this.  I did a search on "vot" and am convinced voting is not 
one of their topics - and suspect you stretched to tie it in.
> We're using different definitions.  There's no power or authority to
> speak of in the public sphere.  Consider this analogy with another
> another domain in the public sphere - that of the press:
>            voter  =  journalist
>   voting systems  =  broadcast media + Weblog software
>    secret ballot  =  anonymous authorship
> Consider enforcing anonymity on all press systems (type 1), such that
> journalists can no longer attach their names to news articles.  You
> see, it is impossible.  There is going to be a mix of types, and in
> fact it is:
>  1. Economist, etc.
>  2. Weblogs, many smaller newspapers, etc.
>  3. New York Times, etc.
> Type 2 predominates, meaning the journalist decides whether to reveal
> her identity.  In any case, journalists have the choice of where to
> post their articles, and are always free to start their own papers,
> Weblogs, etc.
> Likewise for voting systems in the public sphere.  The state cannot
> enforce a pure type 1 (secret ballot) system.  Voters will choose
> which system to vote in, and thus choose their own level and mix of
> restrictions.  (Aside - it follows that we're building these systems
> exclusively for the convenience of voters, and we should expect a
> radical departure in designs.)
I see now you're not offering secrecy.  Seems to me it should not be 
offered unless whoever is offering is attempting to actually deliver. 
Thus, while a voter might assert to having voted as stated, secrecy would 
forbid proving this.
>>I start below with a couple examples of true type 1 secrecy.  This has 
>>serious need, though other methods with the ability can be managed with 
>>MUCH care as to details.
> Agreed, but only for voting systems on the government/administrative
> side - as usually discussed in this list.  (This thread is mostly not
> about those.)
>>The society [club] can give up on the secrecy if its members agree
>>that there is no value in the secrecy (they must have seen need or
>>they would never have invested the effort).
> Agreed, but this differs from an individual member having choice of
> secret|open for a particular vote, and from a choice of which system
> to cast the vote in.  These differences distinguish an administrative
> voting system (in the club), from the voting systems of the public
> sphere (outside the club).
Again, the voter does not control secrecy.  Whoever is controlling the 
method of voting should not claim secrecy unless doing their best to 
provide as claimed.
>>>>Proxies?  There is need for a verifiable record as to how many votes a
>>>>proxy can cast.
>>My point was that if the proxy claims to have 14 votes, self plus 
>>permission by 13 voters must be provable.
> I see... The verification process rests on proving the individual
> votes of each voter (including the delegates).  Then all the rest -
> the flow of 13 additional votes through the delegate, and the overall
> flow in the cascade - follows from the individual votes.  Does this
> answer?  Or are you interested in technical details of proving the
> individual votes?
The proxy claims, and needs to be able to prove, authority to vote as if 14 

Could be the authority includes some direction as to how to vote - my point 
is that the proxy could simply be trusted to vote in the permission giver's 
  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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